Devising solutions: SC forms committee to resolve safety-related issues with Qingqis

The three-wheelers were banned last month by Sindh High Court


Our Correspondent September 03, 2015
The three-wheelers were banned last month by Sindh High Court. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The Supreme Court (SC) formed on Thursday a committee to solve issues related to safety in the manufacturing of three-wheel motorcycle rickshaws, known as Qingqis, which were banned in the province last month on the orders of the Sindh High Court (SHC).

A two-member bench, headed by Justice Gulzar Ahmed, directed the committee to submit its report to the court for its perusal and passing of further orders.

The apex court's bench was hearing a petition filed by the Association for the Welfare of Owners and Staff of Qingqi Rickshaws at its Karachi registry, challenging the SHC order of the ban on plying of these three-wheel motorcycle rickshaws in the province.

The association had pleaded the court grant it leave to appeal against the August 5 SHC ruling, which had ordered the provincial authorities to ban the operation of these vehicles illegally plying in different cities, including Karachi.

A day earlier, the bench had directed the provincial authorities make recommendations on how to address safety-related issues in the Qingqi rickshaws and other means of public transportation.

During Thursday's proceedings, the transport secretary informed the court that Qingqi rickshaws have been designed to enhance seating capacity. He argued that under the law a rickshaw can only carry four passengers, but the manufacturers have increased the seating capacity to six or nine in violation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1969.

On the other hand, the representatives of the Qingqi rickshaw owners association pleaded the court allow them time so that the six-seat vehicles can be converted to four-seat vehicles, as a blanket ban on them will render thousands of people jobless.

The bench directed the provincial authorities to constitute a committee that will devise solutions on how to tackle the public transport problem, including adding safety features to three-wheeler rickshaws.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2015.

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